Sister of convicted killer Duncan testifies about parental abuse


Joseph Duncan

The sister of Idaho convicted killer Joseph Duncan – who waived his right to appeal his death sentence – says they both endured horrific childhood abuse at the hands of their mother.

Cheri Cox was in Boise’s U.S. District Court Wednesday to testify in the competency hearing of Duncan, who was sentenced to death in 2008 after admitting he kidnapped and tortured two northern Idaho children before killing one of them in Montana in 2005.  Duncan gave up his appeals, but his attorneys fought on his behalf and last year an appellate court ordered the competency hearing.

Cox testified about what it was like growing up with Duncan in their childhood home, saying that she and her four siblings were frequently beaten by their mother while she ranted that men were worthless.

Duncan snatched 9-year-old Dylan Groene and Dylan’s 8-year-old sister Shasta from their Wolf Lodge home after murdering several of their family members in 2005. He kept the children at a remote Montana campsite for weeks before he shot Dylan and returned with Shasta to Coeur d’Alene, where he was arrested.

Duncan has been convicted of five different murders in Idaho, Montana and California. But the competency hearing focuses only on the crimes he committed against Dylan and Shasta.  (AP)

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